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COVID-19 could reverse gains made for African children, warns Save the Children

The COVID-19 pandemic threatens to reverse progress made for children in Africa by years or even dec..

The COVID-19 pandemic threatens to reverse progress made for children in Africa by years or even decades, witheconomic aftershocks risking to push an additional 33 million children into poverty, according to Save the Children.

With malaria levels projected to rise to levels of some 20 years ago, an estimated 265 million younger children out of school because of COVID-19 and the virus added to the factors driving food insecurity, the pandemic is expected to have a long term impact on children, despite early decisive action taken by many African countries.

Save the Children today launched its paper ‘How To Protect A Generation At Risk’, which analyses the primary and secondary impacts of COVID-19 on Africa’s children. The agency warns that while children are not the highest-risk group in terms of direct fatalities, more action needs to be taken now to prevent the pandemic having far-reaching impacts on African children’s rights and wellbeing now and into the future.

COVID-19 has enormous implications for the education, health, nutrition and protection of millions of children in Africa. This health crisis could compromise children’s educational outcomes for a generation, with girls being particularly at risk of staying out of school. Indeed, with their education so suddenly interrupted, 262,5 million children are out of school and millions among them are at risk of not returning to school, especially girls”, said Doris Mpoumou, Director of Africa Union Liaison Office for Save the Children.*

“The COVID-19 outbreak is exacerbating existing vulnerabilities and is putting pressure on already weak health systems across the continent and is disrupting routine health services, which is likely to increase child deaths from perfectly preventable and treatable diseases. In addition, the pandemic is during already alarming levels of hunger due to climate shocks, conflict and economic instability. Refugee and internally displaced children are the most vulnerable. We hope that this brief is a starting point to inform responses to COVID-19 by governments and organisations in Africa”, Ms, Mpoumou continued.

How To Protect A Generation At Risk was launched online through a virtual dialogue between young Africans, representatives of the African Union for Human Resources, Science and Technology, and for Social Affairs, the Minister in Charge of Education and Literacy in Burkina Faso, and a representative of the government of Zambia. The youth urged the AU and African governments to make child-friendly decisions, to put in place concrete and strong actions to protect African children and to ensure that their rights are respected during and after the COVID-19 outbreak.

Maryam, 20, Young ambassador for Save the Children in Nigeria, said:

“School closures have been imposed as a measure to slow down the spread of the virus globally affecting millions of children including children in Africa.

Some schools have introduced distance-learning platforms, which makes students living in low-income homes digitally excluded. Also, many public schools do not have the resources, technology and equipment to provide online teaching. Children’s dependence on online platforms for distance learning has also increased their risk of exposure to inappropriate web content and online predators”

“Children in conflict areas, as well as those living in refugee and IDP settlements, are also at high risk of facing abuse, for example, sexual exploitation in exchange for good food or water. They are also at risk of getting sick easily and dying from preventable diseases.”

With one of the youngest populations in the world, the African continent is exposed to many of the collateral impacts of the COVID-19. While African governments have responded quickly to the pandemic, they now need to make sure this leadership is aligned to their continental commitment and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the child.

Save the Children urges governments, with the support of African Union, to:

  • Guarantee children rights during the COVID-19 pandemic by ensuring children will have access to quality health, education and protection services;
  • Recognise and integrate the specific needs of the most vulnerable children, including girls, into their COVID-19 response plans.
  • Develop and the implement social protection mechanisms and policies to protect children and families from future pandemics and other shocks.

To support Save the Children’s global COVID-19 emergency appeal, click *here.*

Notes to editors

  • Please find the full report here
  • To support children affected by the COVID-19, Save the Children has adapted it’s programmes. Among other things, the organisation is supporting distance learning so children can continue their education from home. It is also running cash programmes to help families mitigate the economic impacts of the outbreak, it is running nutrition programmes in vulnerable communities, it is raising awareness on prevention and mitigation of the disease and has distributed PPE in vulnerable communities.
  • It is estimated that over 262.5 million children from pre-primary and secondary school are currently out of school because of COVID-19 closures, which translates to approximately 21.5% of the total population in Africa. For many poor and vulnerable children in Africa, schools are not only a place for learning but also a safe space from violence and exploitation. It is also where they have a nutritious meal (sometimes the only meal for the day).
  • Recent estimates of food insecurity suggest that as many as 107 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa were acutely food insecure.
  • Some projections estimate that malaria deaths may double in sub-Saharan Africa this year compared to 2018 due to factors such as disruptions in net distributions and reduced community access to antimalarial medicines.
  • Under the worst-case scenario, the number of malaria deaths would reach 769,000 in 2020, which are mortality levels last seen twenty years ago.
  • Children make up 59% of Africa’s refugees and asylum seekers and 50% of its internally displaced people, which are heavily impacted by preventing many across the continent from seeking asylum and safety, in violation of the international legal principle of non-refoulement. UNHCR estimates that 167 countries have so far fully or partially closed their borders to contain the spread of the virus.

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Benefits of Health Insurance


Health insurance is a critical part of protecting your health. It gives you peace of mind and allows you to focus on living a healthy life. Without it, your health can be threatened by unexpected medical expenses.

The cost of health care is skyrocketing in many areas of the world. Unexpected illnesses and injuries can leave a person in financial ruin.

A lack of health insurance can lead to medical debt and bankruptcy. Medical bills for emergencies can easily exceed thousands of dollars. Not only can these bills drain your savings, but they can also hurt your credit score.

Insurance providers are willing to adjust the terms of your plan based on changes in your lifestyle. In addition, you may qualify for a tax break or reduced premium.

Health insurance can cover the costs of preventive care, such as annual physicals, screenings, and vaccinations. Preventive care is an important way to avoid developing serious illness.

If you do become sick, your insurance will cover the costs of surgery, emergency room visits, and other treatments. You can even receive free preventive care through your health insurance.

Without health insurance, you will often delay seeing a doctor until you are very ill. This is a dangerous habit. When you are in pain, you are more likely to seek medical attention.

The lack of insurance also leads to a higher risk of death for uninsured adults. Women with breast cancer have a 49 percent greater risk of dying if they do not have health insurance.

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How to Build a Successful Business Without Social Media

Social media is a powerful tool for any business. It helps you engage with your audience and can lead to more traffic, better SEO and increased conversion rates. However, it takes time to build a following. The process can take several months or even years.

While social media can help you connect with your audience, it’s important to maintain a consistent voice. This will help establish a positive impression and create a loyal following.

Social media can also be a great tool for monitoring customer behavior. You can learn more about your customers’ interests, preferences, and needs. When you know who your audience is, you can tailor your content to meet their specific needs.

If you want to get the most out of your social media strategy, set goals. Be sure to measure your results and adjust your spending accordingly. Also, use a SMART goal strategy. Goals that are attainable and relevant to your business will help you reach your overall objectives.

A good strategy is to allow one hour each day to interact with your audience on social media. Respond to any comments, inquiries, or concerns your audience may have.

Another benefit of monitoring social media is gaining industry insight. This information can help you make important business decisions. Knowing your competition can help you fill in strategy gaps and identify your target audience.

Having a social media presence can be a fun and exciting way to generate leads, increase traffic and improve SEO. You can also promote your business, interact with customers, and create a friendly atmosphere that keeps people coming back.

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Nuclear annihilation just one miscalculation away, UN chief warns

The world is one misstep from devastating nuclear war and in peril not seen since the Cold War, the UN Secretary General has warned.

“We have been extraordinarily lucky so far,” Antonio Guterres said.

Amid rising global tensions, “humanity is just one misunderstanding, one miscalculation away from nuclear annihilation”, he added.

His remarks came at the opening of a conference for countries signed up to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The 1968 deal was introduced after the Cuban missile crisis, an event often portrayed as the closest the world ever came to nuclear war. The treaty was designed to stop the spread of nuclear weapons to more countries, and to pursue the ultimate goal of complete nuclear disarmament.

Almost every nation on Earth is signed up to the NPT, including the five biggest nuclear powers. But among the handful of states never to sign are four known or suspected to have nuclear weapons: India, Israel, North Korea and Pakistan.

Secretary General Guterres said the “luck” the world had enjoyed so far in avoiding a nuclear catastrophe may not last – and urged the world to renew a push towards eliminating all such weapons.

“Luck is not a strategy. Nor is it a shield from geopolitical tensions boiling over into nuclear conflict,” he said.

And he warned that those international tensions were “reaching new highs” – pointing specifically to the invasion of Ukraine, tensions on the Korean peninsula and in the Middle East as examples.

Russia was widely accused of escalating tensions when days after his invasion of Ukraine in February, President Vladimir Putin put Russia’s substantial nuclear forces on high alert.

He also threatened anyone standing in Russia’s way with consequences “you have never seen in your history”. Russia’s nuclear strategy includes the use of nuclear weapons if the state’s existence is under threat.

On Monday, Mr Putin wrote to the same non-proliferation conference Mr Guterres opened, declaring that “there can be no winners in a nuclear war and it should never be unleashed”.

But Russia still found itself criticised at the NPT conference.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned what he called Russia’s sabre-rattling – and pointed out that Ukraine had handed over its Soviet-era nuclear weapons in 1994, after receiving assurances of its future security from Russia and others.

“What message does this send to any country around the world that may think that it needs to have nuclear weapons – to protect, to defend, to deter aggression against its sovereignty and independence?” he asked. “The worst possible message”.

Today, some 13,000 nuclear weapons are thought to remain in service in the arsenals of the nine nuclear-armed states – far lower than the estimated 60,000 stockpiled during the peak of the mid-1980s.


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